According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of deaths in America each year are a result of chronic diseases. Lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are the top four risk behaviors associated with chronic disease. Among these, approximately 1/3 of all adults and almost 1 in 5 children ages six through nineteen are considered obese. Chronic disease resulting from these risk behaviors is largely preventable, but rising health care costs has become a major hindrance for this issue.

Wellness Programs Reduce Health Care Costs

Many employers have found that adopting and implementing a wellness program can significantly reduce health care costs through initiating healthy lifestyles for employees. A recent survey by GlobalFit found that about 86% of companies currently have a wellness program available to their employees. Results from a nine-year study conducted by The University of Michigan indicated that We Energies saved a total of $12.1 million through their wellness program; that amounted to approximately $180 in savings for health care coverage per employee per year. Similarly, a recent study done by Baicker, Culter and Song suggests that implementing a wellness program reduces health care costs by $3.27 for every dollar invested. Additionally, costs associated with absenteeism can be reduced by $2.73 per dollar invested.

Benefits Yielded Through Wellness

The results of numerous studies generate a reoccurring theme: Wellness programs produce highly beneficial outcomes for companies who adopt and utilize them. Simply put, healthy employees are more productive employees.

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